Granola Bars / Cereal (the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals)

132 Reviews / 4.8 Average
This is the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals. This homemade granola recipe was adapted from Anson Mills, and can also be made into granola bars. Make it your own by adding in your favorite ingredients and be sure to make a large batch to keep for the week.
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This homemade granola recipe is super yummy and so flexible! Below is our favorite cereal version, but there are many ways to tweak the recipe depending on your preferences.

granola in a bowl topped with fresh raspberries
100 Days of Real Food Cookbook, photo courtesy of Carrie Vitt

Homemade Granola Bar and Cereal Recipe

For the nuts you can put either all almonds or all cashews (or split them as listed below or even try a totally different type of nut). Also, the same thing works for the seeds – you can either put in all pumpkin seeds or all sesame seeds or put in half and half. You could easily play around with the amounts of sesame seeds and flaxseeds as well. If you can’t find unsweetened shredded coconut you can leave it out completely.

If you want granola cereal make it with rolled oats. If you want granola bars then substitute steel cut oats for the rolled oats, and I also like to add dried fruit bits before baking the bars.

For the cereal, once it has baked and cooled completely, you want to put it in a gallon zip lock to break it up into small cereal pieces. If you are making granola bars just break off big chunks instead of using a bag. Don’t expect perfectly uniform rectangles for your granola bars – these are homemade after all!

How Long Does Homemade Granola Last?

This homemade granola recipe will stay crunchy and flavorful for about a month when stored in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. After that, you should probably start to plan your next batch! Side note: finished granola bars might fare well in the freezer if sealed properly although you should expect to lose some of that desired ‘crunch’ in doing so.

More Homemade Breakfast Ideas:

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1,209 thoughts on “Granola Bars / Cereal (the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals)”

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  1. I love the granola recipe. I have it on hand almost continuously. I do keep it much longer than the 2 weeks. I keep thinking I should try some variations, but I like the original so much I haven’t made any adjustments. It is good plain as a snack, with milk/blueberries for breakfast, and on yogurt.

  2. DELICIOUS! Use this to top yogurt for a quick, “I want something sweet but not bad” type of snack. We keep it in the freezer so that it stays wonderful for a little longer. LOVE, love, love this granola!!

  3. 5 stars
    This is my favorite granola recipe. Ive even got others hooked on it. Ive been able to adapt it and play with it to make it plant based and its just perfect. But I have one question. How can I make it more crunchy or crispy? The only change I made was I took out the butter and swapped 1/2 cup coconut oil, and went a little bit less on the honey. Otherwise the flavor is perfect! Its just soft instead of crunchy like I like. I dont know if thats because of my substitution or if you had any other suggestions. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    My family loves this granola! We use pecans instead of cashews and maple syrup instead of honey to mix it up and it’s delicious!

    1. I’ve used some roasted nuts- I think sunflower seeds when that’s all I’ve had and it turned out fine. I just don’t think you’d want a lot of roasted and salted since that would probably make it way too salty.

  5. You said you could use steel cut oats if you want the bars to hold together. It seems like steel cut oats would break your teeth! Did you mean quick oats?

  6. My daughter likes plain granola with no nuts or seeds. Would I just add 4 more cups of oats to replace the nuts and seeds called for in the recipe?

  7. I love this recipe for a cereal but I would really like to have bars. I find when I try to cut it into bars, it crumbles apart. Could I use more honey or add something to help it hold together better?

  8. 5 stars
    I make this recipe every other week for my husband and me… We love it! I’m sorry that I don’t have time to read through 90 pages of comments, and maybe this has already been answered. We’re getting ready to start the Daniel Fast next week, and I wondered if there is a way to make this adaptable for the fast. If you’re not familiar with the fast, it’s very strictly vegan, including the fact that I wouldn’t be able to use cow butter, but could I use coconut oil? Also, I can’t use any sweeteners, including I can’t use honey. I know the honey helps hold it together, but would it still work okay without adding honey? Obviously not as sweet, and also not held together, so a “looser” granola. The thing I’m looking for is that this would be a whole grains/nuts mix that would be great sprinkled on fruit for breakfast! I’m just curious if you’ve ever tried something like that with this recipe. Have you ever added raisins or dates, for example, to maybe add some sweetness to it. I might also add that I live overseas, so my options are somewhat limited… Any thoughts or recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated! ;)

  9. Hi, it’ summer here in Maine and I think the humidity is effecting my granola. It’s not crisping well since it’s been more moist outside. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Are you storing it in an airtight container. It’s pretty humid here in NC, too, :)

  10. 5 stars
    We love this recipe. Does it freeze well? I would love to make an really large batch all at once. Thanks!

  11. If I were to add dried fruit to this recipe, how much should I add? Also, should it be added before or after baking?

  12. 5 stars
    My daughter introduced me to this recipe as granola. This is fantastic. I use fresh nutmeg so the amount is cut back some. The first time I couldn’t find raw cashews so I used almond slices and pecans. My daughter made it with the cashews and almonds and I must say I prefer it that way but it’s a taste preference. Have you ever tried making it with agave syrup and coconut oil?

  13. 5 stars
    Do you have the calories figured out on the granola recipe? I absolutely love it!!!! Need to know if I eat a 1/2 cup, how many calories is that? Fat? Carbs? Protein? Thanks so much!

  14. 5 stars
    I just cooked this up in the oven, and it’s delicious! Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ll be able to eat it all by myself in two weeks. Would it refrigerate/freeze well? If so, how long do you think it would keep?

  15. Hi,
    I definitely want to try this recipe. However we are trying not to use butter or coconut oil as my husband is watching his cholesterol intake. What other healthy substitute we can use?

    Thank you!

    1. We have made this granola for years and it’s always a family fave but now I have to use earth balance vegan butter for this recipe since I can’t do dairy and it is just as terrific as the real butter version :)

  16. 5 stars
    This is THE BEST granola recipe I have found – just made another double batch last night! Just wanted to let you know – I added about 3 Tbsp nut butter & used only sunflower seeds (since I was out of nuts) and traded out the nutmeg for allspice…and it turned out fantastic! This BF mommy truly appreciates a great go-to, quick breakfast that nourishes and keeps me feeling full. As a mommy of 7 I appreciate a great recipe that is easy to make and food that keeps my busy family satisfied until the next meal. Thank you!!

  17. My son and I both have severe tree nut and peanut allergies, will it make a huge difference to this recipe to leave the nuts out? Is there another substitute?

    Thank you!

    1. Clare, have you been able to find almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds that are not processed in the same factory as other nuts? I cannot find any, making granola difficult to make with protein in it.

  18. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I make it on a weekly basis, but instead of using as cereal I use steel cut oats and make them into granola bars. I am allergic to peanuts and tree buts so I instead add extra sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. I also mix almond butter with the butter mixture on the stove. The end result is delicious and the perfect addition to my lunch at work to keep my energy up!

  19. Would almond extract work well with this? Substituting one teaspoon of almond extract for one vanilla. I love the recipe as is but was looking to try something new!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We do not provide calorie details because calorie counting is somewhat against our philosophy but if you scroll through comments, other readers have done their own calculations.

  20. 5 stars
    I made this Tuesday, and it is sooo good. I have it over plain greek yogurt for breakfast…… also a couple scoops a day because I can’t help it!!

  21. Will this turn out well if I substitute coconut oil for the butter? My daughter is allergic to dairy, so unfortunately butter is not an option.

  22. I accidentally found a small time saver for this. I’m so used to making it that I don’t look at the recipe much. Today I accidentally forgot to hear any of the honey mixture and just dumped it into my huge bowl of oats & nuts. Once I started stirring I realized my mistake as it was coating at all. I quickly popped the whole bowl of oats into the microwave for 1.5 mins and then took it out and atirrrd and it was perfect!! The honey mixture had melted and it easily coated and spread all over the oats. I might do it on purpose next time!

  23. This looks delicious!! If I needed to omit the nuts and seeds for my boys, would anything else need to be adjusted (honey, butter, etc..)?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. This is a pretty forgiving recipe. I’ve left out nuts and seeds when I’ve made it for nut free people. I increased the oats, obviously, and added some dried fruit. I do think I ended up adding a bit of butter and honey simply becuse oats absorb more that nuts and seeds. I’m sorry that I can’t be more specific. ;)

    1. 5 stars
      I added the ingredients to the USDA Supertracker with the modifications I made to the recipe (I made a double recipe), which included using 3/4 c sunflower seed, 1/4 c pumpkin seed, and 1 c peanuts for the 2 cups needed at that part. Also, I used sweetened coconut since I had that laying around. For a 1/2 c servimg, the nutrition facts I got were 377 cal, 45 cal from added sugar, and 71 cal from fat. 9g protein, 36g carb, 6g fiber, 14 g sugar, 24g fat (8 sat/9 mono unsat/5 poly unsat), 5g linoleic acid, .1g A-la, no omega 3’s, 15 mg cholesterol, 65 mg Ca, 311 mg K, 322 mg Na, 0.5 mg Cu, 3 mg iron, 111 mg Mg, 274 mg phosphorus, 3 mg zinc, .012mg Se. Vitamins A, K, folate, niacin, and choline showed up.

  24. I made this tonight and definitely was turned off by the chewy texture of the steel cut oats (was going for bars) that Lisa described in her first book…FYI: I would stick with the rolled oats “cereal version”! Can’t wait to try it again.

    If anyone has a recommendation for a fail safe real food granola “bar” recipe, let me know!